En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - June 12, 2012

From: Bulverde, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Non-Natives, Shrubs
Title: Non-native Sago Palm from Bulverde TX
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

My husband's job has taken him out of state and he left me in charge of his 27 year old sago palms, (house plants, sort of bonsai). They waited until he left and then quite perversely sprouted 3 foot tall antennas. Is that normal or should I worry about it making pod-people? I can provide pictures if it would help. thank you for any help you can give me.

ANSWER:

Since, as explained below, we don't know diddley about Sago Palms, we're going to make a wild guess that is a bloom stalk sticking up, but you should still follow our research links.

We would like to cop out and say all sago palms are non-native to North America (which they are) and that the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center is dedicated to plants native not only to North America but to the area in which the plant is being grown. However, we hate to leave you hanging with your responsibility, so we will try to find some clues for you. When we googled for "sago palm" we got 4 different species, each with that common name. We are going to list those, each with a link to an article and (hopefully) a picture so you can decide which it is. Then, using the scientific name you have chosen as being the right one, search on "care of (plant scientific name)". Somebody, somewhere, must have the information you are looking for.

Metroxylon sagu - referred to as true Sago Palm, native to Indonesia and New Guinea. Article from Virtual Palm Encyclopedia.

Cycas revoluta native to Southern Japan. Article from Arizona Master Gardeners

Cyclis circinalis - native to Western Ghat area in India

Cycas micronesica - native to Micronesia, seeds poisonous. Article from ARKive

Honestly, if your husband has had these plants for 27 years, he may be the world's greatest expert on them. We suggest you ask him.

 

 

More Non-Natives Questions

Non-native Ruellia brittonia in Raleigh NC
August 23, 2009 - I have discovered Mexican Petunias this year. I LOVE THEM! Beautiful plant. However, they are so tall and after a rain are leaning badly. Should I tie them back? Will they get stronger as they ma...
view the full question and answer

Fuzzy Citrus Fruit on Satsuma and Lemon Trees
September 13, 2014 - A man asked you about fuzzy little small fruit-like balls that looked like tiny lemons. I have huge numbers of these on both my mature Satsuma and lemon tree this year. I get 100's of really great f...
view the full question and answer

California plants poisonous to dogs from Sacramento
July 01, 2012 - Found dodonea viscosa purple. Is it poisonous to dogs? Also Gold Star Potentilla. Going drought tolerant and need small trees, shrubs and plants not poisonous to dogs for sun and partial sun.
view the full question and answer

What will grow under non-native, invasive Norway Maple in White Plains NY?
April 17, 2010 - Is there anything that will grow under a Norway Maple? The soil is dry and the area is small hill next to my driveway. It is an eye sore! Thank you!
view the full question and answer

poor blooming on (non-native) plumbago
June 14, 2011 - I recently purchased several blue Plumbago plants that were covered in blooms. We planted them in our front beds that receive about 5 hours of morning sun then afternoon shade. I have watered them eve...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | SITEMAP | STAFF
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center